Program Advantages

The Batten Honors College curriculum delivers innovative content and an interdisciplinary approach using creative teaching strategies with substantial faculty/student interactions. This focus will help scholars translate their education into action at the local, national, and global levels. Listed below are signature features and program advantages of the Batten Honors College. Click on a topic header to learn more about a feature.

The Batten Honors College offers a Living-Learning Community to expand the student learning experience beyond the classroom, strengthen student engagement in campus life, and develop meaningful social connections. This inclusive community-centered environment supports the personal and intellectual growth of each scholar.

The core curriculum includes a set of courses that align with the vision and mission of the Batten Honors College, some of which fulfill general studies requirements. The foundation of the core curriculum is a series of interdisciplinary seminars that cover a broad range of topics. In each seminar course, instructors and scholars investigate, analyze, and understand key issues or compelling problems. The seminars will emphasize intellectual inquiry, communication skills (reading, listening, discussion, writing, and presenting), problem-solving, and collaboration.  These skills will be developed throughout the core curriculum along with creativity and innovation, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills, and leadership.

Scholars enrolled in the Batten Honors College will have an opportunity to use their classroom learning to address real-world problems in a structured service experience locally, regionally, or abroad.  Specific learning objectives defined within the service learning course will ensure that scholars engage in a meaningful experience, learn course content, and reflect on the social, political, ethical, and economic issues related to the service.

Scholars will spend 2-3 weeks during a winter or summer session in a transformative study-away course. Scholars investigate concepts, issues, and ideas relevant to the culture and travel destination(s) in an integrated academic course that includes engagement in a service or research project that addresses the particular need(s) of that community and involves interaction with representative community members, constituencies and agencies. The study-away course experience will be fully funded by the Batten Honors College.

Experiential learning emphasizes hands-on learning inside and outside the traditional classroom. Scholars develop as independent learners and turn theory into practical skills as participants in advanced experiential learning programs including extended study-abroad, internship, and research opportunities.

Scholars enrolled in the Batten Honors College will be encouraged to reflect on their own learning throughout the core courses, which will culminate in the Honors capstone course.  In the capstone course, students reflect on their academic, cultural, social, and service experiences and integrate these experiences, skills, and knowledge into individual or team projects.  Scholars are given the option to share their projects at the campus research symposium.

Scholars are also encouraged to submit their capstone project, undergraduate research, honors course project, or service learning work to the National Collegiate Honors Council, Southern Regional Honors Council, Virginias Collegiate Honors Council, or another academic venue for presentation consideration at a professional conference.